Washington, D.C. Taxi Operators Association
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Taxi drivers in Washington, D.C. are fed up! After years of unfair regulations and lack of respect, we are fighting back by forming the Washington, D.C. Taxi Operators Association. Our association will be backed by Teamsters Local 922 and the 1.4 million-member International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
The taxi cab drivers in Washington, D.C. have formed the Washington, D.C. Taxi Operators Association, associated with Teamsters Local 922. Drivers do not oppose fair regulations, but the recent regulations and the way they are being imposed is not a fair process.
Here are some of the issues facing drivers:
This service is unregulated or, if there are regulations, they are minimal compared with taxi drivers. They play by different rules and it is hurting the taxi drivers' livelihoods.
Drivers need a stronger voice and more representation on the D.C. Taxi Cab Commission, and they plan to get that through their new association.
Credit card machines
Drivers had no say in which vendors were selected for the new credit card machines. Many of the machine service providers are taking a very long time to get drivers their money. There is also a monthly service fee and a percentage fee paid to the service provider that varies, depending on the provider used. Many drivers prefer the Square system for their Iphones, which have a more reasonable (2.75 percent per swipe) with no additional fees and next-day deposit, but that was not an option. Some drivers had been using Square already, but will no longer be allowed under the current system.
New dome lights
Drivers used to have a requirement that the dome lights would have a 911 emergency feature and have a switch inside the car. Now, and this is another example of something drivers had no say in, a different type of dome light is required. It has NO 911 feature (so it's less safe) and it requires that drivers exit the car and reach up on to the roof to turn it on or off. These new dome lights cost about $450, about twice what we were told at first.
New paint scheme
The D.C. Taxicab Commission's website said the new paint scheme (red and gray) needed to be done by October 1, 2013, but most taxi drivers have not had time to get their cabs painted. The commission's website said drivers face impoundment if their cars are not painted. There has been a lack of information. In fact, during a meeting between city officials and representatives of Teamsters Local 922, union officials received mixed signals about the actual deadline. It is still unclear when the real deadline is. Drivers are frustrated and confused, and they face high costs to have their cabs painted, upwards of $1,100.
Again, drivers want to be allowed to have more input into these regulations, and they want more time for the regulations to take effect. Drivers also want to be educated better about the regulations.
The Washington, D.C. Taxi Operators Association Leadership Council is now formed. If you have an issue or concern that you want the association to address, contact one of the Leadership Council members.
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"The regulations and rules get approved without much driver input, but that will change soon now that we have formed our association with the Teamsters."
"Many drivers are frustrated with the lack of information and all these new regulations. We are happy to have the backing of the Teamsters Union as we fight for our rights."
"Many of the drivers are struggling to make ends meet with all these new, costly regulations that have been implemented without drivers being consulted. The Teamsters will help us lobby the city to make sure our voices are heard."
Join the Association today, by filling out the form below and submitting your monthly dues.
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Do you have a question about the Washington, D.C. Taxi Drivers Association? Contact us here.